Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It Started in the Garden

Faith and sex huh? When I first heard the topic I though oh, okay, that’s great! Now when it is time to sit and write the blog, I’m thinking maybe it wasn’t so great after all. David did a great and cautious job yesterday. Caution is always a good thing the first part of the week with a topic like this. Since I am the first female to share on this topic, caution probably would be good for me too. We’ll see when I get to the end of this how well I do with that. Candor is pretty much my style so we’ll see????

I’m old. I’m well churched. I’ve been in church all my life. I like to joke that I cut my teeth on Pentecostal pews. I don’t know if there were teeth marks there, but you get the idea. My mother was quite Puritanical in her views on sex – in fact, she’d probably have been a Shaker if she could – you know the ones that preached abstinence and preached themselves out of this world with no reproduction?

The first intersection of sex and faith came at church camp. NO I wasn’t in the bushes making out with one of the boys. Three of us in the room were having a conversation about sex. Given my mother’s views on sex, I knew about it, but firmly maintained that “Christians don’t do such a thing. God gives them their babies." I guess I thought every child born to a Christian was an immaculate conception. One of the older wiser girls – I think she was about 16 took me aside and clarified things for me.

David’s right, we don’t hear much about sex in church. We’ve left sex education to the public schools. We fight to keep our children from hearing such things. Okay, I agree, sex education has gone too far in many ways – I heard the other day that some school was going to do sex education in Kindergarten. The point isn’t that the schools do it; I think the point is more that we are not doing our jobs to give a godly perspective of sex. As David says, sex is for marriage. It's also basic to our humanity to desire sex and have it.

I’ve seen a lot of interesting interpretations on scripture as well. Take the interesting book of Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon). In the late 70’s there was a book, a sex manual to compete with the burgeoning market of sex manuals, Solomon on Sex. It had some rather interesting ideas. Christian couples flocked to their local Christian bookstore for this one. Finally a way to find out more about sex while still being spiritual!

Another interpretation of Song of Songs is that it is an allegory of Christ and His church. In certain circles of church this is really popular. I don’t disagree with this interpretation – I’ve preached it myself! However, a preacher who was well known for preaching this topic once said to me, Joyce, the young really like all that talk of kissing so it’s a good topic. I wasn’t sure that was a good way to put it. I think he sold a lot of books that way.

Most of the time, the church just buries its head in the sand when it comes to sex. We five Kingdom Bloggers that God put together to talk about things with candor, honesty and with the Kingdom of God in mind, seem to be the ones to start this conversation. Let’s face it, people have sex. Christian people and non-Christian people – it has been that way since Adam knew Eve and it isn’t going to change. The Bible is pretty direct about sex. Why aren’t we?


Tracy said...

I can relate to growing up in the church, and to not receiving any kind of sex ed from my parents. In later years my mom once told me that she'd read that you're supposed to wait until your children ask questions and then answer honestly, but that I never asked questions. I was born in 1960 and I think our home was rather typical of the time in that it would never enter any child's mind to actually ask your parents about sex. Parenting is sure one difficult task so I certainly am not trying to criticize my mom; she did the best she knew how. I'm sure some day my kids will be looking at ways I messed up too.

Joyce Lighari said...

You are absolutely right - parents do the best they can with what they know, have experienced and their own baggage, and we all have it.

You are a bit younger than I am. I think my mother would have said much the same thing.